Between 1972-80, he was member of the Maharashtra LegislativeAssembly for two terms of 1972-1978 and 1978 to 1980 during whichtime he held various positions such as Chairman of Public UndertakingsCommittee, Deputy Minister (Law & Judiciary, Irrigation, Protocol),Deputy Speaker of the Assembly and Speaker of the Assembly.
In central politicsIn 1980, he was elected to the 7thLok Sabha. By 1999 (13th LokSabha), he had won seven successive Lok Sabha elections in 1980,1984, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999
First inducted in theIndira Gandhi-led government in as Minister of State for Defence (1980–82), he wasgiven independent charge of the Commerce Ministry (1982–83), from where he was shifted to Scienceand Technology, Atomic Energy, Electronics, Space and Ocean Development (1983–84).During 1983-86, he was Vice President of CSIR India. He also served on various committees includingthose on Defence, External Affairs, Finance, Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament.In theRajiv Gandhigovernment, he was Minister for Personnel, Defence production and later heldindependent charge of Civil Aviation and Tourism.He has also held a number of important positions in the party ever sinceSonia Gandhi took over the
presidency of the party. He is largely known for introducing theOutstanding Parliamentarian Award, Indiain 1995. He was the chairman of the manifesto committee of the party during the 1999 Lok Sabhaelection.As speaker of the Lok Sabha, he had begun or contributed in initiatives on information dissemination tomembers of the Parliament (through computerisation and modernisation), construction of ParliamentLibrary Building and broadcast of Loksabha proceedings, including live broadcast of Question Hour of bothhouses of the parliament.Between 1991-1995, he was a member / leader of Indian parliamentary delegations to variousinternational parliamentary conferences.
After Indian General Election 2004
He became Home Minister in 2004. A former Lok Sabha speaker, Shivraj Patil lost in the 2004 polls
fromLatur constituency in Maharashtra,but has still landed up the second most important position in the
Union Cabinet—that of the Home Minister . He was elected to the Rajya Sabhain July 2004. Widely seen
as an ineffective minister, his tenure as home minister was marred by one debacle after another and he